Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tuesday Talkback - Unsolicited submissions

Today's Tuesday Talkback question comes from a reader named Kevin:

A couple years ago, it seems there were a lot more companies taking unsolicited queries. Companies like Benderspink for example. And although the query would go to an intern, at least there was a shot. Recently, it seems like that market is drying up.

Other than Underground Management and Madhouse Entertainment, I'm kind of hard pressed to find companies I've heard of still taking unsolicited. Do you know of any?

Well, a good query letter can always get around that, but as far as the wide-open door that Benderspink had until recently, I'm unaware of any. What do you guys say?


  1. I agree that a good query letter is better than a submission to an e-mail address that happens to be called query@productioncompany.com. I worked at a place that had a "query address" and no one ever checked it but if you sent in a real query letter someone would see it one way or another.

  2. Pretty much the only people still seriously reviewing unsolicited queries are lit agents for authors, so if you’re planning a novel next, you might be in luck. I also guess there are still places for unknowns to show their work like triggerstreet.com, but beyond that, there’s not much. I kind of don’t blame companies for not wanting to read unsoliciteds anymore, I interned at a company that didn’t accept any unsolicited stuff and I would have to send it all back with our pretty form letter. While I’m sure the writers all think I passed on the next big hit, most of the stuff was 500 pg. spiral bound scripts with pictures of the suggested cast on the front cover. I asked my boss at the time if any unsolicited script/query ever led anywhere (clearly people keep doing it for a reason). He said the script for Hitch had been “unsolicited” but the story behind that sounded more complicated because it still went through someone’s friend’s assistant first (so pretty much, the answer is no). With no place to send unsolicited work/queries I’d recommend focusing on either reputable competitions, or networking to meet eager young assistants who might ask to read your stuff. Any referral is better than a query anyway.